Challenged with a global pandemic, Will Caldwell and Ryan Shinto, co-owners of Dojo Kyle Jiu-Jitsu, discovered that moving to a virtual classroom would allow them to continue teaching martial arts while keeping their students and staff safe.

“We were kind of looking around for a solution that would allow us to continue to educate and teach our students but also give them the opportunity to ask a questions,” Caldwell said. “We were recording some video content. ... But I felt like it was lacking because there wasn’t interaction. ...”

Dojo Kyle Jiu-Jitsu, like most businesses in the country, has had to adjust during these times by innovating.

Though Caldwell would have never imagined teaching behind a screen a few weeks ago, he is adjusting his craft to be accessible and safe for others during the coronavirus pandemic. Now more than ever his students and other people need the discipline and strength that is learned through jiujitsu, Caldwell said.

“This is a big part of what these martial arts teach us. ... In my mind it’s more of a way to develop ourselves not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, learning to overcome the obstacles, and I think that’s what we’re showing as a school,” Caldwell said.

With the recent shelter-in-place order issued by Hays County officials together with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, county residents are spending more time at home presenting a unique opportunity for the local martial arts school in Kyle.

Unlike most businesses, Dojo Kyle Jiu-Jitsu has experienced an increase in clientele, Caldwell said. Before the outbreak, classes average at 15-20 people, but now those numbers have nearly doubled—as most people are spending more time at home.

Dojo Kyle Jiu-Jitsu offers kids and adult martial arts programs as well as a bullying prevention program. Classes are for all ages and “all walks of life” as Caldwell puts it.

Caldwell said he intends to look at the positives coming from this pandemics and encourages others to do the same. One good thing that has come out of the coronavirus crisis is virtual instruction Caldwell said, which he plans on implementing permanently once Dojo Kyle Jiu-Jitsu reopens for the public.
“What I keep telling everybody and myself is that this is a good opportunity to adapt; we don’t want to curl into a ball and give up,” Caldwell said. “[we need to think of] what are some of the positive things that can come out this, that we never would of thought about doing if the coronavirus had never come into existence."